Hopefully, Phil Snow is breaking down this game film frame by frame.
About a year ago, give or take a month, the slogan the team adopted for the 2016 Temple football season was Unfinished Business.
If not original, it was unmistakable in meaning.
The “Unfinished Business” was getting back to the championship game and winning it this time. In many ways, while the Navy game (high noon, Saturday) on the road is a challenging assignment, much of the heavy lifting already has been done. To even get this far again is a huge accomplishment and maybe the hardest part of the job.
Now the Owls have one more piece of business left to do and it involves a well-thought-out game plan that involves adopting some free military intelligence, courtesy of Air Force.
Hopefully, they learned something from the first game of the season that they can apply to the penultimate game. The Owls have to know by now that “business as usual” will not help them finish their overall business. Matt Rhule hinted as much post-Army game when he said his coaching staff will have to review how they attack a triple option team and change things up. The manual says nose guard (hint, Averee Robinson), tackles in the A gaps (Michael Dogbe and Freddy Booth-Lloyd), and eight in the box to string out the option.
Send more defenders than the triple option can block and create havoc in the Navy backfield. There is a little risk involved in this process that puts all the pressure on defending the pass on three players—the two corners and safety Sean Chandler, but that’s a low-risk and high-reward process the Owls will have to adopt on Saturday. They have the athletes to defend the pass with three.
One thing the Owls do know is that sitting back in their base 4-3 defense against this type of offense is not going to work, no matter how many times you say “Temple TUFF” or “Unfinished Business.” Of course, the Owls will have to remain true to themselves on offense, by running the football with a mixture of play-action passing.
On defense, though, they cannot be as stubborn as they were on Opening Night.
To win this battle, they have to do their good diligence in military intelligence and all the intelligence they need has been supplied by another branch of the fighting forces, the Air Force.
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